The name “Rovellats” dates back to the 10th century, to an adjective in Latin, robiculu (in English “rust”), probably as a result of the estate being surrounded by the meandering river Foix and with a consequent high degree of humidity.


It’s probable that the Romans who were here, initially pillaging and . . .  err, well you know, and then displacing the indigenous Iberians might have become rather tired of continually having to clean their chariots and equipment, and sharpen their weapons for fear of them become rusty and useless.


It’s probable, in fact highly likely, that they also made wine here. The Roman army needed plenty of alcoholic refreshment and they, of course, had the knowledge and expertise as well as a plentiful supply of workers to work the land and tend the vines. Thus, wines have been made in this part of Cataluña for centuries.


Cavas Rovellats, founded by, Josep Vallés Rovira in the early 20th Century (the same family that runs the business today) has a somewhat shorter history. Nevertheless they too are playing their part in terms of safeguarding the land for the generations that follow, this, the third generation who are now the incumbents.


I first came across this winery when I received the results of the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) for which I judge, on the Spanish Panel, every year. Indeed it is possible (though I wouldn’t know it, as judging is blind, of course) that I was one of those whose scores ensured that one of the extremely impressive Rovellats Cavas, won, not just Gold, but the Gold Outstanding Medal!


And just to position that correctly, let me advise that this year the IWSC (the oldest, and one of the three most prestigious international wine competitions) awarded only eight Gold Outstnading Medals in the Spanish Wine Section – that’s wines that have achieved 95+ marks out of 100!


In fact three of their wines earned distinction in this year’s competition, two silvers and the Gold Outstanding. Plus, if you look at their website ( you’ll see that they have a list of medal success, plaudits and eulogies as long as both of your arms! And, I’m not at all surprised – these are excellent Cavas. Not just excellent, for Cava (as some, never me, might say, but really top drawer for all Sparkling Wines – and that certainly includes Champagne! Indeed, I Tweeted (@colinonwine) and ‘Facebooked’ about tasting a Champagne against one of the Rovellats Cavas recently, the latter winning hands down!


I might have surreptitiously claimed some success in the above comment re judging at the IWSC, above, however, I’m going to temper that now, by adding that I may also have been one of the judges on the panel who agreed to a Silver Medal for GRAN RESERVA MASIA S.XV BRUT NATURE 2008. For me, this wine is solid Gold! It’s the wine that I tasted against the Champagne above, and it has made a big impression on me.

It’s elegant, first and foremost, with brioche and patisserie notes with a hint of toasty smokiness, and, after a huge seven years(!) ‘en rima’ (inverted in bottle resting on its lees in the cellars) it is as vibrant as a puppy – large breed, because this is also a powerful wine. We all delighted in this wine at a recent dinner, initially tasting it first on its own, and then with a baked filo pastry, spinach, cream cheese and feta starter, with which it was outstanding! Honestly, if you see this wine, buy it!

Rovellats Col.Lecció is pale gold in colour, coming probably from the 30% Chardonnay in its blend, with 40% Xarel-lo and the rest Parellada. It’s had 4 years (a youngster really!!) en rima in the cellars located 15 meters underground. You’ll find a little peach fruit with some citrus notes too with a slight reference to orange zest. There are freshly baked brown bread notes on the nose with a little bitter almond and it has a long finish with a faint toffee flavour, though not at all sweet.

The Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2011, winner of the Gold Outstanding Medal is a wonderful wine! The free run juice of the Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada varieties are fermented for the base wine in stainless steel. The second fermentation, in bottle, of course takes place way below ground in the cellars, where the wine stays en rima for 60 months, five years.

Again this aged wine comes out of the bottle with youthful pride – it’s exuberant, delighted to delight the taster, and it does just that! There is elegance, the mark of a truly classy Cava, along with good weight on the palate.

On the nose there is the scent of almond blossom which follows through to blanched almonds, to confirm first impressions! There’s a little smokiness too, with toasty patisserie fragrance and lots of presence in the mouth. A complex wine, with an abundance of flavour and an exceptionally long finish.

I recommend these Cavas to you without any reservation – excellence needs to be acknowledged!

Leave a Reply